1 READ A SAMPLE OF Jay Jessup s What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet? 2014 Sutton Hart Press
3 Introduction Are you an experienced lawyer? If so, the odds are great that you re familiar with what I call the Lawyer s Dilemma. This is your frustration at the competing demands of serving clients and short term financial concerns weighing against the pressure to attract new clients and to market your services in a dignified manner that will be effective. To make matters worse you get near-daily calls and s from high pressure, 20-something non-lawyers trying to sell you sure fire solutions, without which they assure you your practice will collapse into obscurity. For example, It s SEO, Search Engine Optimization for law firms and lawyers, that is the future of law firm marketing, claims the cold calling salesperson. It is hard not to listen when someone is forecasting your immediate professional demise and suggesting this mystery product is the secret marketing ingredient your less-qualified but more successful competitors are using to get the clients you want. You know you could figure out search engine optimization given a few hours, but you don t have those hours because of the Lawyer s Dilemma and maybe you have a spouse and children who wouldn t mind seeing you more often. You make a note to buy some of this SEO stuff and then you go back to your daily practice routine. But, it s all very unsettling because so many firms are trying to sell you (and every other attorney) this same online voodoo; you can t help but suspect that such a ubiquitous mystery product isn t really the solution. You get other calls about new lawyer websites, online advertising, mobile browsers, and the impossible-to-define or quantify social media.
4 2 WWCDT? Have you met some super successful lawyers at conferences? Or you have at least read about high profile lawyers from Clarence Darrow to Gerry Spence to whoever is the hottest advocate in your specialty today and you intuitively know their amazing financial success and extraordinary visibility are based on something more than search engine optimization and a mobile browser friendly website. Well, you re right. There IS a way past the Lawyer s Dilemma to achieve professional prominence, the elite 1% where practice gets really fun and it s not about Tweeting your lunch plans or sponsoring Facebook contests, although harnessing the power of social media is about 1/5 of how it works. Really the best news here is that any attorney who has achieved a solid level of competence in their specialty (using this term to mean focus rather than bar association certifications although those in themselves would surely qualify as focus) can use the same strategy that Gerry Spence used to gain his elite status, Gloria Allred uses to attract the celebrity nanny cases, Nancy Grace used to win her HLN television show, and the leading 1% of criminal defense (class action, personal injury, family law, real estate.) attorneys use to attract the best clients and command the highest fees. So what s this formula and why am I qualified to share it with you? Both are great questions. First, there is in fact a recipe for differentiating yourself and your firm from every competitor and elevating your legal stature into the professional stratosphere. And, the strategy can be executed while enhancing your gravitas rather than diluting it with inane Facebook efforts or videos that make even the most distinguished counsel seem like a self aggrandizing late night television huckster. I won t hide this research based formula and make you dig through this book to piece it together.
5 sample chapter 3 Here it is, quite simplified but a decent single sentence overview: Attorneys (or group of lawyers operating as a firm) who package their expertise (lawyer branding) better than others, publicize (lawyer PR) and promote (law practice marketing) that professional brand in unique and authentic ways both online (SEO and law firm websites) and off (speaking and publishing), and capture and monetize the results, typically find themselves among the elite 1% of the profession. This is what What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet? is about - the details, mechanics, and strategic options for making your own way to a leading 1% position. Every specialty, practice, and lawyer is different but the elements are the same as are the extraordinary results if you execute these things in a synergistic manner. Why should you accept my premise and keep reading? Because I help some of America s (and a few from other countries) leading attorneys enhance their visibility and credibility and income every day as founder of Elite Lawyer Management, a lawyer PR and legal services marketing consultancy focused exclusively on catapulting our clients into the profession s top 1% and keeping them there. Our strategy is based on research we did on the lives and careers of 75 notables that was the basis of my last book, Fame 101: Powerful Publicity and Branding for Amazing Career Success. Am I qualified to opine on these matters? Well yes, I have Author Status which I recommend you get for yourself as one of the legal services marketing strategies in this book and I practiced law and later served in a rainmaking capacity at what by most measures is the world s largest consulting firm. While I might also offer many national media appearances and A-list speaking engagements as qualifiers (each of which is also a strategy I ll recommend for your own practice success), really
6 4 WWCDT? the only thing that matters is that my clients become very visible and credible leading voices of their specialties. They get great clients and are compensated at higher levels than their peers. Most have triage teams managing and curating a high volume of inbound calls, have a strong secondary income from outbound referrals, and otherwise don t have to worry too much about business development. They become client magnets. If you are an experienced lawyer I m certain that this book can help you achieve not only your practice goals, but also your professional dreams. What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet? uncovers the rules and realities of lawyer PR, attorney branding, law office websites, (and yes Search Engine Optimization for lawyers and law firms), public speaking, book development and publishing, and other legal services marketing strategies. Does all this work? Yes. You see Elite Lawyer Management client attorneys on CNN, Bloomberg, ABC, and in the pages of USA Today, the New York Times and the rest. They are onstage at major trade association events or at TEDx conferences, their books are very well reviewed, and they serve their dream clients, cases, and causes. These statements aren t meant as bragging but rather to let you know that the legal services marketing and lawyer branding strategies we use every day are in the pages of this book and they work. I hope you adopt them for yourself and your practice. That s why I wrote What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet? Jay Jessup, founder Elite Lawyer Management
7 Chapter 1 The Lawyer s Dilemma - Solved Why don t they teach this stuff in law school? Will the public really be at risk if we skip Maritime Law 101 or something of similarly marginal relevance to % of lawyers? Apologies to the 10 or 20 members of the Admiralty bar for this bit of irreverence but shouldn t there be some time set aside in every law student s education to cover the one subject that will most determine their career satisfaction: How to Get Great Clients, Exciting Cases, and Important Causes to Fight For. I can t imagine there would be any challenge filling THAT classroom and I would bet a lot of professors would sit in to learn what s missing in their own professional lives. Here s the thing. You watch football and you watch the Olympics picture the winner s face during the on camera interview immediately following the win. They re out of breath, they are excited, and they are passionate about the sport, the event, and the thrill of getting to do what energizes their life. They positively exude happiness and you know what? You ll see a similar excitement among the silver and bronze medalists, the losing quarterback, and even the guy that missed the thirty yard three point kick. They might not be quite as happy because of the loss but the thrill of competition, of doing what they have trained for, and getting to play comes across in every utterance, mannerism, and comment.
8 6 WWCDT? How does this relate to practicing law? Very precisely. Done well, there is no more exciting, thrilling or satisfying career. Life and death, success or ruin, happiness or tragedy of epic proportions; these are just a few of the compelling themes of a lawyer s work but there is one unimpeachable fact: You have to be in the game. That s right; none of the high drama, great professional moments, life satisfaction, and surely the money rewards are possible absent interesting clients. And it is those clients who put you in position to use your wits, wiles, and training against highly trained adversaries from which you can derive that satisfaction and other rewards, including large fees. So what s the message? Lawyers need clients, the lifeblood of their existence. This book is about getting great clients amidst heavy competition by better trained, better funded, and more successful (for the moment) attorneys. How did David take down Goliath? He was smarter, faster, more strategic, and truly awesome with a rock and a sling. This book will give you your own highly accurate marketing sling and suggest some high value targets. Enough with the metaphors though, let s shift to the substance. As you proceed through these pages you will learn in detail about the nine tools any competent attorney can use to attract the best clients, the biggest fees, or whatever your professional goal. These are the means by which the lawyers you see opining on CNN, keynoting mega conferences, signing book deals, and otherwise building a high visibility personal brand, promote themselves to attract clients. What should be the curriculum for the law school class referenced above? The nine tools for attracting clients that all elite lawyers master:
9 sample chapter 7 PR for Law Firms & Attorneys Personal Branding for Attorneys Law Firm Branding Public Speaking Training & Booking Book Development and Publishing Lawyer Website Development Online Marketing Beyond the Website Effective Social Media for Attorneys Building an Authentic Professional Image Practice Promotion Without Losing Gravitas These are the tools elite lawyers use, both the art and science, to get great clients to represent, exciting cases to pursue, and important causes to champion; all while getting paid at a much higher level than their peers because they are no longer perceived as a commodity. Let s take a quick look at each of these subjects, all covered in depth later, to get a sense of how they all work together to accomplish geometrically more in terms of practice promotion than if done separately. After all, even the best packaged product (attorney branding) won t sell unless people know about it (lawyer PR, law firm publicity, and legal services marketing). Professional (Personal) Attorney Branding Personal branding is all about packaging your expertise and you likely notice that elite attorneys in every specialty are as well branded as highly successful products. Consider Gerry Spence, the iphone, Audi, Gloria Allred, Pepsi, and Rolex. These are all differentiated brands that consciously deliver a consistent image, message, and perception.
10 8 WWCDT? The benefits to lawyers who invest the time to create and maintain a powerful personal brand include differentiation in a crowded market, avoiding the commodity trap where legal services are perceived as interchangeable and therefore subject to downward pressure on fees, and as a tool to fuel lawyer PR, law firm publicity, and other promotional efforts. Every lawyer has a brand, whether they pay attention to it or not. Accept for the moment that a powerful brand will attract more and better clients, while commanding higher fees, and that lawyer branding is a vital element to building an exceptional law practice. You will learn in a later chapter how to determine and build an optimal authentic professional brand to outdistance the competition but it is essential for now that you understand that branding should not happen in a vacuum. This leads us to the value of PR for law firms and individual attorney PR (public relations) to raise the visibility of a legal brand. Law Firm Public Relations and Lawyer PR Attorney PR, when executed correctly, results in positive media exposure which in turn raises the credibility and visibility of a law firm or individual attorney. The underlying theme is that an attorney In the News is perceived as someone more knowledgeable and thoughtful than others. That is just how Americans think and it isn t just the couch potato news junkies but also CEOs, leading professionals, and pretty much everyone who buys legal services. The CNN talking head expert trumps a better qualified unknown when it comes to client development. Unfortunately few attorneys, and even few publicists, understand how to win the media spotlight. Press releases are yesterday s news and blatant self promotion always fails. Lawyers who package and pitch their news as part of a larger story get fifty times more coverage. There s a lot
11 sample chapter 9 more to all this but the message is absolute: being in print, on a radio show, or guest spots on television are unbeatable practice enhancers. Law Firm Branding Branding for too many law firms is about logos, mission statements, brochures, and other drivel-based exercises focused on doing things because your competitors do. Effective law firm branding focuses on doing what your competitors don t do; in this arena you should let competing firms suffocate each other in their mediocrity while you launch a fresh and sharp image that differentiates your offerings. In essence, law firm branding (properly done) should be focused on packaging firm services and also staff (lawyers and also paraprofessionals) brands. A law firm s value is the cumulative worth of each professional s brand plus some X factor for the added power of the assemblage. A powerful law firm brand spotlights and builds a narrative around that X factor; an elite law firm also helps individual lawyers build and promote their own brands which in turn increase the X factor as these lawyers become the credible voices and visible faces of the firm narrative. Branding a law firm is a great time to consider a name change away from founder or shareholder surnames, packaging specialized services (and lawyers) on their own for focused marketing, and dumping the justice scales, leather bound law book photos, and other relics of yawnworthy law firm branding from a prior millennium. Law firms branded for the future excite and attract prospective clients. Public Speaking for Lawyers Public speaking, done well, can be equivalently as powerful as PR, branding or any other high-return practice builder. Unfortunately
12 10 WWCDT? although attorneys are typically good communicators, even among the lawyers who expend the effort to make public speaking a part of their professional lives, ten out of ten are doing it wrong. There are a dozen valuable lessons on public speaking for attorneys in a later chapter but three stand out to illustrate how lawyers are almost universally missing out. First, we constantly see lawyers battling for keynote or workshop opportunities at trial lawyers meetings, specialty practice conferences, or other events with an attorney audience. Beyond some basic contributions we all make to our professions, why vie for (and often pay for) a slot educating the competition? Sure you might pick up some referrals over the years but a family lawyer with dissolution expertise should be speaking to a regional Republican Women s conference where half the audience is either a potential client or knows one. Mistakes beyond improper venue include too narrow a message, uninspired graphics, and failing to understand that great speakers are entertainers who are attuned to an ideal balance between information and entertainment. Training like you re prepping for a TED Talk is critical and if you don t yet know about TED Talks, you re missing some inspiring content from exceptional communicators. Book Development & Publishing The short statement here is: you have to write a book. Americans elevate legitimate authors above all their peers just as much as they do professionals in the news; note here that we are advocating you do both of these things for a geometrically greater practice return. Most lawyers have thought about their book, fewer have begun writing, only a handful have completed a manuscript, and the number of practicing attorneys
13 sample chapter 11 with legitimately published books is probably about one hundred, considerably less if you exclude educational texts. If you accept the proposition that clients are attracted to (and pay more for) the lawyer who wrote the book, you see the value in getting it done. Two things typically derail the attorney who gets this far a perceived lack of time and a complete inability to select the subject matter. Skipping past the skill of creating practice-building titles and strategies for getting the attention of a respected publisher and such that we cover in later chapters, please know that you can write an excellent nonfiction book in your spare time in 90 days or less using a little-known strategy perfected by several consistently well reviewed bestselling authors. Topic selection is the other major downfall of attorney writers. This isn t a law review article or ABA journal piece on the specialty they have perfected over years; it s a piece of entertaining and informative nonfiction and it should have the broadest possible title to open the most doors for media and speaking opportunities. The best illustration is Gerry Spence s How to Argue and Win Every Time. It s not on jury selection or any other legal intricacy he is qualified to write; it s something more powerful and I would bet he wrote it in 90 days or less. Lawyer Website Development Did your web guy create your website or are you paying monthly for a site from a company that does websites for all your competitors? In either event, there s an immense missed opportunity here, although it s not as substantial as thinking your online presence is nothing more than your firm s website Continued in What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet?
14 12 WWCDT? Did You Enjoy This Sample Chapter of Jay Jessup s What Would Clarence Darrow Tweet? The book will be available soon at bookstores everywhere as well as at Amazon.com and other online sources. You might also enjoy his Fame 101: Powerful Branding & Publicity for Amazing Career Success, available now everywhere books are sold. Visit the author s website: Media Inquiries: